Episode 24

Taís Lessa on Inclusion in the Workplace for Immigrants and Newcomers


March 22nd, 2022

39 mins 40 secs

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About this Episode


Taís Lessa


Richard Littauer | Memo Esparza | Eriol Fox

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain Open Source Design! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source with design. Learn how we, as designers, interface with open source in a sustainable way, how we integrate into different communities, and how we as coders, work with other designers. On this episode, we are excited to have as our guest, Taís Lessa, who is a Product Design Lead at Mozilla Corporation, working with the Pocket team. Our discussion today focuses on inclusion in the workplace for immigrants and newcomers. We also learn more about how Taís grew as a designer, being a newcomer in another country coming from Brazil, not feeling like her contributions were valued, and how she found the right fit for herself at Mozilla and the Pocket team she works with. Go ahead and download this episode now to find out more!

[00:01:36] Taís tells us her background, what she finds most important in her work, what she does at Mozilla, and the team she’s working with.

[00:04:53] We find out how Taís ended up on the Pocket team and why she feels it’s the best place for her work right now.

[00:06:41] Taís details how she grew as a designer, how she grew as a newcomer in Canada coming from Brazil, and how these two paths weaved together.

[00:10:02] We hear what it was like for Taís, as well as the team at Mozilla, the openness and open source space around inclusion, across borders, across identities, and whether she found anything that was unique in that space.

[00:17:43] Taís explains where she thinks being a designer has been, if it’s something that she’s had to become in some way because of who she is, and the emotional experience she has being a designer.

[00:23:47] Memo wonders how Taís thinks we can foster an environment to encourage people to be more themselves in open source and how they can encourage others to be themselves with a difference of opinions.

[00:30:50] Eriol brings up the Hello Kitty project Taís talked about and how it’s such a great project to express creativity in open source.

[00:33:03] Richard wonders what tools Taís has in her toolbox for finding energy when it’s gone.

[00:34:53] Find out where you can follow Taís online.


[00:07:41] “What excites me, what makes my eyes bright, is design.”

[00:13:14] “My contributions are valued from where I am from.”

[00:14:28] “The real value came when I started to be myself.”

[00:26:15] “As a designer, part of my job is to design the thing, but this is a little part. The big part is how to convince others this is the right thing to do.”

[00:29:15] “I use my strength as a designer to show the value of my ideas and convince people.”


  • [00:36:07] Richard’s spotlights is the book Ecce Romani, which is how he learned Latin.
  • [00:36:53] Eriol’s spotlight is a repository called Welcome to the Adulting is Hard Project.
  • [00:37:34] Memo’s spotlight is a video chat app called Chatmosphere.
  • [00:38:00] Taís’s spotlight is Power Save Mode Discord Community.